Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. Farming News .




FARM NEWS
Closely-watched GM farm case begins in Australia
by Staff Writers
Sydney (AFP) Feb 11, 2014


An Australian farmer who lost his organic produce licence has taken his neighbour to court over contamination from his genetically modified canola crop in a closely-watched test case.

Steve Marsh's case against his neighbour Michael Baxter began in Western Australia's Supreme Court on Monday, seeking damages and a permanent injunction to protect his farm from future contamination.

Marsh lost organic certification on 70 percent of his land in 2010 after swathes and seed from Baxter's farm blew onto his property, resulting in "great financial hardship and an uncertain future".

His legal team said the case could set an important benchmark on farming.

"As far as we know, this is the first court case of its type anywhere in the world. It will test the legal rights of farmers to choose how and what they farm on their land," said lawyer Mark Walter.

"The case is about freedom of choice, for both farmers and for consumers. It is important that farmers retain their rights to farm GM-free food as this in turn will protect consumers' ability to purchase GM-free food."

'Unreasonable standards'

Baxter's defence team argues that Marsh's farm, where oats and other grains are grown and sheep graze, cannot be directly affected by the GM canola because he does not grow canola himself.

He takes issue with Australia's organic certifying body for what he claims are excessive and unreasonable standards that saw Marsh lose his licence.

The case is being watched closely by Australian legal experts who said there were a number of important issues at stake.

Agricultural lobbyists worry it could set a dangerous precedent about land use.

"This sort of liability claim has been long anticipated and expert authors have suggested that it is hard to make a liability claim when at the time a crop was planted the scientific weight of evidence suggests that there was not a reasonable anticipation of harm to others," said Paul Martin, from the Australian Centre for Agriculture and Law at the University of New England.

Martin said the fact that the Australian government's gene technology regulator had ruled that the risks were low fell heavily in Baxter's favour.

Bioethicist Rachel Ankeny, from the University of Adelaide, said both farmers had responsibilities not to harm their neighbours but the case was "far from clear-cut".

"Some might claim that the organic farmer is participating in a certification system primarily to receive a premium price but that system sets unrealistic limits regarding what counts as contamination," she said.

"Others might note that if the canola farmer has taken reasonable care to prevent drift, he may be argued to have fulfilled his ethical obligations."

Benefits of GM 'ignored'

La Trobe University plant scientist Jim Whelan said the legal battle reflected an ongoing public debate which demonised GM foods and ignored their benefits.

"GM has been shown to have positive effects on the environment, but sadly positive research about GM rarely makes it into the news," he said.

Environmental activists from Greenpeace have campaigned against genetically modified crops in Australia, breaking into government research farms and razing a wheat plantation with weed trimmers in 2011.

Greenpeace describes GM organisms as "genetic pollution" and warn that once released into the environment they cannot be recalled.

But Rick Roush from Melbourne University dismissed any broader significance of the case because it "has not and would not" occur in the United States or other countries, where "organic certifying agencies allow tolerances for GM presence".

"After more than a billion hectares of GM crops planted since their introduction, how is it that Steve Marsh suing his neighbour can be claimed as a landmark case?"

.


Related Links
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





FARM NEWS
UM Research Shows Converting Land to Agriculture Reduces Carbon Uptake
Bozeman, MT (SPX) Feb 11, 2014
University of Montana researchers examined the impact that converting natural land to cropland has on global vegetation growth, as measured by satellite-derived net primary production, or NPP. They found that measures of terrestrial vegetation growth actually decrease with agricultural conversion, which has important implications for terrestrial carbon storage. Postdoctoral researcher Bill ... read more


FARM NEWS
Swarm heads for new heights

Trio of European satellites positioned to study Earth's magnetic field

ESA eSurge project delivered by CGI to help predict ferocity of UK coastal flooding

AGU and Wiley Launch Open Access Journal, Earth and Space Science

FARM NEWS
Lockheed Martin Powers On Second GPS 3 Satellite In Production

India to launch three navigation satellites this year

NGC Wins Contract For GPS-Challenged Navigation and Geo-Registration Solution

20th Anniversary of Initial Operational Capability of the GPS Constellation

FARM NEWS
NASA Study Points to Infrared-Herring in Apparent Amazon Green-Up

Tree roots in the mountains 'acted like a thermostat' for millions of years

Puzzling 'greening' of Amazon rainforest in dry season an illusion

New Madagascar leader declares war on illegal logging

FARM NEWS
Ceresana expects the market for bioplastics to grow

Approach helps identify new biofuel sources that don't require farmland

PROINSO shows PV-DIESEL hybrid systems at Genset Meeting 2014

Agricultural and Industrial Biogas Plants Go Online

FARM NEWS
Sunpreme Double Glass demonstrate extreme ruggedness in Antarctica tests

SunEdison Team Advances Solar Energy Industry In Saudi Arabia

Flat-pack lens boosts solar power

St. Thomas University celebrates completion of major solar energy project in Haiti

FARM NEWS
Britain wind farm proposal scaled back in face of opposition

Climate risk from wind farms is minimal: study

Moventas CMaS gaining a strong foothold in Australia

Residents oppose new grid link needed for German energy transition

FARM NEWS
Societal Benefits of Fossil Energy to be at Least 50 Times Greater than Perceived Costs of Carbon

Goldman Sachs pulls out from Pacific coal export project

Colombia stops Drummond coal shipments over environmental row

China coal mine accidents kill 1,049 in 2013: govt

FARM NEWS
Execution with no farewell spotlights China death penalty

Top China filmmaker pays $1.2 million fine over children

The agony and ecstasy of Hong Kong's extreme runners

Chinese girl's 'cruel' New Year gala dance sparks controversy




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement